Where have all the volleyball players gone? We found ’em!

    We noticed that a former Sunnyslope HS volleyball player made a big splash in her first year of college competition.  Laurann Durbin,
a sophomore at Grand Canyon College in Glendale, AZ, was named the
Pacific West Conference Pre-season Libero of the Year.  As a freshman,
she set a new single-season GCU record for digs (530), erasing a mark
that has stood for 19 years (set by the team’s coach, Kris (Belcher)
    We also noticed that Durbin isn’t the only local
volleyball talent on the GCU roster; this year’s recruiting class was
loaded with it.  Caelen Hiller is the third player on the squad from the 2006 Sunnyslope HS state championship team, joining Durbin and junior setter, Katie Meyers.  Hiller had a .284 hitting percentage during her last season at Sunnyslope.
    Joining the trio is 5-11 freshman, Katie Peterson, from Glendale Mountain Ridge HS; 5-11 junior, Tommyka Henry from Alhambra HS, and libero Erin Compton
Henry came to GCU by way of Mesa Community College, where she had 135
kills last season.  Compton played one season at Sunnyslope HS before
moving to Billings, Mnt., where she was a two-time all-state and
record-holder for digs in a season (433).
    Add to the group Emily Draper, a 5’8″ setter, and Shelby Taylor,
a 6’0″ middle hitter.  Both are from Phoenix Christian HS and both were
all-league in the 2A West Region; Taylor was a 1A-3A honorable mention
all-state selection.
    Kristen Preach (pictured here)
is listed as a freshman, but the 5’10” setter from Xavier Prep is
actually a third-year freshman who was on medical red-shirt status
during 2007 and 2008.  She was on the 2005 state championship team at
Xavier and is already making her mark this year as a ‘Lope.